Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival announces programme
May 1, 2018
The Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.
Taking place from Friday 13th to Sunday 22nd July, the programme features a panoply of promising newcomers; music legends who have marked the Festival’s history as well as a host of famous names making their Edinburgh debut.
Among the many highlights are Kurt Elling, Davina & The Vagabonds; Mud Morganfield, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble; Jools Holland, Dave Holland with Zakir Hussain and Chris Potter; The Average White Band, Blind Boy Paxton, Curtis Stigers, Betty Lavette and Maggie Bell.
Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival: avant garde jazz
Celebrating the tri-centenary of New Orleans, the festival presents a posse of Crescent city musicians from the return of Soul Brass Band, to the UK debut of all-female traditional jazz band Shake ‘Em Up.
Avant garde jazz from New York from Vijay Iyer Sextet; Grammy award-winning trumpeter, Keyon Harrold; legendary Detroit soul singer Bettye Lavette, and Memphis-based Southern Avenue who update the STAX tradition also feature.
Look out for classic blues from Chicago with a double bill of Mud Morganfield and John Primer. Festival organisers have also scoured the US to find three blues musicians central to the future of the music: Earl Thomas and Blind Boy Paxton (both from California) and from St Louis, Marquis Knox.
European Jazz comes from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Norway, Italy, Sweden and England with Mobo Award winners Soweto Kinch, Zara McFarlane and Zoe Rahman; legendary groups like Bratislava Hot Serenaders and Robert Balzar Trio, plus major new stars in Vit Kristan, Harald Lassen and Juno.
Audiences can look forward to sensational Caribbean vocalist Malika Tirolien (from Guadeloupe); virtuoso tabla player Zakir Hussain (from India) and African rhythms from KOG and the Zongo Brigade.
The festival also celebrates Scottish music. World premieres include Seonaid Aitken singing of love with a 24 piece string orchestra while American clarinet player Evan Christopher joins The Scottish Swing Orchestra to salute the Kings of Swing.
Haftor Medboe duets with Swedish pianist Jacob Karlzon and Andrew Robb is joined by Norwegian saxophonist Petter Wettre.
There is an amazing new wave of Scottish jazz musicians on the scene and fittingly in this, the Year of Young People, there will be performances by the 20 year-old bassist Mark Hendry who showcases his Octet and has been commissioned by the Festival to write music for a Large Ensemble – 23 musicians!
Another 20 year-old, the stellar pianist Fergus McCreadie will be performing with his Trio. The 18 year-old singer Luca Manning leads a brand new band featuring Greek singer Irini Arabatzi.
Special projects to celebrate the anniversary include a jazz gala featuring Martin Taylor, Carol Kidd, Brian Kellock and Tommy Smith.
Hosted by Seonaid Aitken, there will be a Blues Gala with Maggie Bell, Bernie Marsden and Tim Elliott.
In association with Edinburgh Jazz Archive and Edinburgh Napier University, there will be an exhibition that will feature memorabilia from the last 40 years.
Late night club
Teviot Row will host the Festival Club with a range of catering options from outdoor terraced bars to fine dining.
The late night club will run until 3am with festival guests jamming with the house bands and DJs.
The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra joins the line-up of Jools Holland, Davina & the Vagabonds; Bratislava Hot Serenaders and The Average White Band at the Festival Theatre.
They present their five star acclaimed adaptation of two children’s classics Peter And The Wolf and Carnival Of Animals.
Jason Rust, Chair of Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, said ‘We are celebrating our anniversary with a bang. A stellar international line-up with musicians converging on Edinburgh from all over the world, over 150 concerts, plus the Festival’s two free events– The Mardi Gras and the Edinburgh Festival Carnival – will take place on the 14th and 15th July respectively’.
Tickets are available online here from 2pm on Tuesday 1 May. By phone on 0131 473 2000. In person from The Hub on Castlehill.